5 Years of Incluusion: “Incluusion encouraged me to keep on learning”

Incluusion celebrates anniversary with heartwarming video

Through Incluusion, more than 900 refugee students participated in courses at the Utrecht University, the Utrecht Summer School and the University for Humanistic Studies. Incluusion also set up a traineeship programme for refugees receiving benefits. The traineeship enables them to gain work experience and build a professional network in the Netherlands.

In celebration of Incluusion’s 5 year anniversary, we asked refugee students, UU-teachers, trainees and supervisors what they thought about Incluusion. This resulted in the heartwarming video below, also including a special message from Diversity Dean Janneke Plantenga.

Yara Aldibhnied: “Following an Incluusion course was a great opportunity."

“After 5 years, it was time to reflect on our work so far. We organized a survey for former refugee students and asked them what it is we do well and what we should improve,” says Ragna Senf, project manager of Incluusion.

This led to a report outlining our plans for the coming years:

  1. Pre-course training
    Incluusion will develop a pre-course training for refugee students. This ensures that they get acquainted with the UU and the Dutch academic educational system, before they participate in a course at the UU.
  2. Strengthening our community
    We will strengthen the Incluusion community, by evolving the buddy system (in which regular UU students are ‘buddied up’ with Incluusion students) and setting up a network for refugees.
  3. Admissions to the UU
    Incluusion will collaborate with the Admissions Office, to enable Incluusion students to take the step from participating in a single course to following a fulltime programme at the UU more easily.
  4. Traineeships
    We will develop the Incluusion Traineeships from a pilot to a professional programme, offering university wide work placements and collaborating with (amongst others) Utrecht municipality.

Diversity Dean Janneke Plantenga sums up Incluusion’s value: “The work of Incluusion is very important. Of course, first and foremost, for the refugees. But it is also important for the university, because it creates a diverse study and work population.”

Senf concludes: “It’s wonderful that not just Incluusion students, but also many teachers and supervisors from the UU responded to our call for this video. The messages truly reflect that Incluusion has been valuable for everyone involved. I hope we can say the same in 5 years!”